The story of Bart, AKA Markie, who returned from the dead after being buried, has taken a new turn (see Zombie Cat posts). There have been questions brought up about the validity of the GoFundMe page set up to raise money to first pay for Bart’s medical care, then to cover the cost of an attorney to get Bart back. This is quickly turning into a legal mess involving possible fraud. This article (external site) explains the situation.
After Bart was taken to Humane Society of Tampa Bay in Florida, Dusty Albritton, neighbor of Bart’s owner, Ellis Wayne Hutson, posted a video showing Bart’s miraculous ‘rising from the dead’. Apparently this isn’t the first video she’s posted of a “Lazarus” cat. This is a copy of the video she posted in 2014, where Dusty tells of how she held her dying cat.
Word is now circulating that Bart was never really dead, and the entire Zombie Cat story was created to gain media attention and raise funds for a need that didn’t even exist. You heard right, readers. Bart’s death may never have happened, those who have followed this case closely from the beginning now report.
Now for the possible “fraud.” Here’s the GoFundMe page (as at 21st Oct 2016 the link no longer works so it has been deleted), started by Dusty, where she says:
“Monies will be used for Both to bring Bart home and his medical care when he is at home, I want to thank all who have been caring and praying for Bart and the owner. May God Bless you all. Refunds are available if you do not wish to help bring Bart home.”
This sounds well and good, until you realize the offer of a refund didn’t occur until word began to spread on social media questioning the validity of a fundraiser when Humane Society of Tampa Bay was footing the veterinary bill for Bart. So what was the money to be used for, considering this? According to a post on Dusty’s Facebook wall, which has been screenshotted, a lobster dinner may be one of the luxuries funded by the cat-loving public!
Dusty posted news of her generous neighbor on her Facebook wall.
“Then when I got home I had a major surprise Mr Wayne was barbecuing and it hollers at me does hey dusty come here so with a smile I go over he hands me a plate here this is for you I opened it up and its lobster I’ve never had lobster so it was quite a surprise for me and lobster is delicious oh my gosh I’m addicted I want more lol”
Keep in mind that Ellis Wayne Hutson is using the indigent (poor/needy) court-appointed attorney system available to people who don’t have the funds to hire an attorney on their own. A lot of people believe he’s using funds from the GoFundMe fundraiser for personal use, and/or that he misrepresented himself about being indigent.
GoFundMe has been contacted about the page in question, yet have refused to remove the page. Listed below are ways to report Dusty.
You can report Dusty and her fraudulent Go Fund Me accounts to the
- Tampa FBI: Phone: (813) 253–1000 – E-mail: email@example.com
- Hillsborough Sheriff: 813–247–8000 or submit an online inquiry here.
Go Fund Me can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org but don’t expect them to do anything. A Facebook page has been set up here for people who wish to follow these new developments.
Meanwhile, Humane Society of Tampa Bay report Bart is doing well in their care, receiving toys from admirer’s as far away as Germany. They plan to fight Bart being returned to his former owner.
Of course, with social media being what it is, there’s also the possibility Dusty has done nothing wrong, and the whole fraud accusations are false. Please read the article linked above by Medium.com, as well as this one, and form your own opinion. And of course, express that opinion here on PoC. Especially on how fraudulent cat fundraiser webpages hurt those in rescue who need those donations to survive.